Archive | April, 2019


April 30, 2019


“Once the Black+Decker picks up steam, it’s hard to put down …” – Good Housekeeping magazine

Major congratulations are in order for the BLACK+DECKER team and their best in product shout out! The BLACK+DECKER Light ‘N Go Cordless Iron was featured in the “Smooth Glide” category. Here’s the full review:

“Once the Black+Decker picks up steam, it’s hard to put down … until you have to charge it again (like all cordless irons). But unlike some, light and sound indications on the unit make it easy to know when the iron needs to be placed back onto the base to heat-up and also when it’s ready to go. It is lightweight and its ceramic non-stick soleplate allows the iron to glide smoothly, rarely snagging the edges of our test fabric swatches. The transparent water tank made it difficult to overfill the unit and there was no drip!”

Read the 5 Best Cordless Irons to Buy in 2019, According to Cleaning Experts over at Good Housekeeping.

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5 Ways to Brighten Your Workspace

April 25, 2019


You spend a lot of time at your desk. So ask yourself this one question: is it a happy space? If the answer isn’t a resounding YES then you have some work to do. Here are a handful of ways you can brighten up your workspace and make it a more welcoming, productive place.

  1. Add a plant: A little bit of greenery can be calming and clarifying, especially when you’re stuck inside all day. Try a snake plant, an aloe plant, or one of these workspace friendly plants.
  2. Get the tunes flowing: A good set of headphones and a cheery playlist can make or break any day. Dedicate some time to curating the perfect streaming station with music that will keep you energized but not distracted.
  3. Frame some photos: Surround yourself with a few of your favorite pics of friends and family or from your favorite travels. These days we’re so used to seeing photos only on our phones. Don’t let some of those favorite memories go forgotten.
  4. Make a vision board: Stay motivated and on track with a few images that keep you focused on your dreams and goals.
  5. Bring a lamp: The right lighting can make a workspace feel totally different. The soft glow of a small lamp can make your workspace feel more homey.

Image via kris krüg/Flickr. 

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3 Bad Work Habits You Need to Break Right Now

April 23, 2019


The excitement of new year’s resolutions have probably worn off by now, but it’s never too late to make a few micro-improvements that can make a big impact on your day, as well as your overall career access. Here are three changes you can focus on this week.

  1. Don’t skip a lunch break. If you’re suffering from burn-out, overwhelm, or an extreme case of stress, a mid-day lunch break can be a sanity saver. Even thought it feels like you don’t have time for a break, a break is exactly what your mind and body needs. You’ll likely be more productive after a moment of recharging.
  2. Don’t start the week off on a whim. We’ve already talked about the importance of Mondays. It can really start your week off on a super productive note which can set the tone for the rest of your week. It may  even be able to help you squash the Sunday Scaries since you’ll feel better prepared.
  3. Don’t let others run your day. Instead of being reactive, be proactive. Take control of your social media habit, your daily schedule, your inbox, and any other external distractions. When you have a more rigid approach to your priorities, no one will be able to derail your day.

Image via Ryan McGilchrist/Flickr.

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Shout Out to Our H&G Team!

April 18, 2019


Our Home and Garden retail team/business is dedicated… forty years in, or two days new, they are all-in all the time! Their faithful store presence and drive continues to separate Spectrum Brands from the competition. These folks have a lasting impression and love what they do!

Here are some of our employees showing their support.

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3 Signs You Are Burned Out at Work

April 16, 2019


Feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired? There’s a difference between being really busy and being burnt out. But what are those differences? There are a few tell-tale signs that you may be suffering from burnout.

  1. Your self-care has taken a back seat. Not drinking enough water? Skipping the last few weeks of gym time? Not sleeping well? These unhealthy habits may lead to other issues like muscle strain, headaches, or back pain. You may feel exhausted physically but also emotionally.
  2. You’re completely unmotivated. If you can’t get excited about the things at work that used to excite you, it could be a sign of burnout. You may feel unsatisfied or depleted instead of the thrill that usually follows a big accomplishment.
  3. You’re not performing up to your usual standard. If you’re missing deadlines, skipping meetings, or prone to errors as of late, it could be because you’re lack of motivation is negatively impacting your quality of work.

The signs of burnout will be different from everyone. The important thing is that you recognize your burnout and give yourself a much-needed break. Your productivity and your attitude will suffer if you don’t. Take a much needed vacation–even a day off mid-week can help–or set up a meeting with your boss to discuss your workload. Also, don’t be afraid to delegate or ask for help.


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Are You a Workplace Bully?

April 11, 2019


Bullying isn’t just for the halls of your former high school. Adults suffer from it too, and even in the workplace. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace and that abusive conduct affects 60.4 million of them.

Workplace bullying is defined as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees.” The abusive conduct could include: “threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse.” This conduct creates a power imbalance which can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical well-being as well as their work productivity and career success.

Who’s doing this bullying? Sixty percent are bosses while more than 30 percent are coworkers. The rest are people who may have a more entry-level position but bully those who work in positions above them on the corporate ladder. So, sadly, bullying can happen at any stage of your career.

Here is some behaviors that could be considered bullying at work:

  • yelling
  • aggressive body language
  • rudeness
  • talking about someone negatively behind their back
  • sarcasm
  • constant criticism
  • intimidating behaviors
  • teasing or name calling
  • threatening
  • publicly reprimanding someone when it’s not needed
  • leaving someone off a meeting invite or email on purpose

Read more about workplace bullying in Psychology Today.

Image via Eddie~S/Flickr.

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The Have-to-dos, the Should dos, and the Want-to-dos

April 9, 2019


If you’re feeling overwhelmed it all comes down to one thing: what are you prioritizing? Your to-do list is probably never-ending. So how do you cut through it and tackle it in a way that makes the most sense? Start by assessing what you have to do, what you should do, and want you want to do.

  1. The Have To Dos: These are the things that you know must get done–no ifs, ands, or buts. The important things that have a pending deadline, the items that will really make an important difference in your week (like grocery shopping–hey, you need to eat!), things that other people are depending on you for, and the goals that are most important to you. That could be working out or spending more time with your family.
  2. The Want to Dos: These are the things you do when you go into auto pilot. The habits you have that have become part of your routine. But really assess what you are doing with your time. You may find yourself saying often, “I don’t have enough time.” And yet you never miss an episode of The Bachelor. It’s something you want to do but is it something you should do? Watching television (or scrolling through your phone on social media) is the perfect example of something you can cut back on in your life to make room for more long-term goals. Screen time is a precious block of time that could be spent cooking a healthy meal, spending quality time with your family, working out, or whatever other goal you’re trying to attain.  
  3. The Should Dos: Exercise. Healthy eating. Family and friend time. Waking up earlier. Those are just a few examples of some of the things you know you should do but maybe choose to push to the side anyway. Identify the most important “should dos” and make them a “have-to-do.” Then you’ll spend less brain power trying to prioritize your life. Just make it a non-negotiable and schedule it into your day.

How else do you deal with overwhelm? Comment below!

Image via john.schultz/flickr. 

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Putting Your Life on “Auto Pilot”

April 4, 2019


Decisions, decisions, decisions! Do you ever dream about not making a single decision for an entire day? Even an hour would be nice! One way to tame the overwhelm is to put a few parts of your day on auto pilot, cruise control, or whatever you want to call it. By automating your day or making certain things become a habit, you’ll use less mental energy and may even become more productive.

To do this, you’ll need to set a few rules. But first, pinpoint the few things that really interrupt your workflow and really stress you out. Then assess your true feelings on the subject. For example, I want to work out every day but I feel like I have too much work to do so I usually skip the workout. And then  feel guilty. Your true thoughts on working out may be, I need to work out at least three days a week to be happy and healthy. Now set a rule: On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, no matter what, I will workout for 30 minutes over my lunch break.

Here are some other daily decisions that you can turn on auto-pilot:

  • when should you check email and when emails justify a response from you?
  • when should you stop working and head home?
  • what should you have for lunch?
  • when you should turn down a project or say no?
  • which meetings should you attend?

The next time this decision-making process cuts into your workday, you’ll be able to turn to your new rule and take a step forward instead of stalling. Before long, it will become habit and–there you go–autopilot. One less decision to make in your day. How else do you go on “autopilot?” Comment below!

Image via Mark Doliner/Flickr.  

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Do You Have a “Sponsor” at Work?

April 2, 2019


We’ve touted the benefits of mentors over and over again. They provide excellent advice and guidance as you navigate your career path and find your way. So what’s a sponsor? In a recent Forbes article titled, Get a Sponsor, Not a Mentor: 3 Ways to Skyrocket Your Career, writer Avery Blank breaks down what this means and why you need it.

A sponsor is an advocate. Someone who will spread the word about what a great employee you are. About how reliable you are and what great work you do. It’s the kind of person who will recommend you, write a LinkedIn endorsement for you, and sing your praises in front of other people. Sounds pretty nice, right?

But how do you get such a glowing review from your peers? Well, do great work! Be a reliable person. Go above and beyond. Be consistent. Be optimistic. Meet deadlines. Also, don’t be quiet–sing your own praises and the praises of others. Your peers need to know about your achievements. They’ll be more likely to pat you on the back if you’ve done the same for them.

Read the full article over on Forbes.

Image via Marcin Wichary/Flickr. 




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